August 02, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Fort Nelson, Snowmobiling
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And so it begins; our moderate descent into winter.
Fort Nelson never seems to get much of the two transition
seasons of spring or fall, everyone in Fort Nelson plays hard during our short
hot summers. River boating, camping, swimming and many other summer activities.
Although winter brings a chill and a slight sigh for everyone who endures a
long 7+ months of it, we still find way to pass the time and steer clear of
cabin fever. How do we do this you ask? Well one of my personal favorites as a
kid was family snowmobiling trips, you may be freezing but the activity does
get you sweating enough to start warming up. Soon enough the kids are riding in
the sled behind the snowmobile and the campfires are lit. The familiar smells
of exhaust, fire roasted hot dogs and marshmallows engulfs your senses and
winter doesn’t seem so bad after all!
Living in Fort Nelson my entire life, I was used to -40
degrees, gearing up in layers upon layers of long johns and socks. Thinking
back now I would not be so comfortable now walking to school in that! My life
long friend and I would get ready for school, meet at our half way point and
begin our 20 minute walk to school; it didn’t seem like much back then. The
worst we walked in was a near-blizzard -42 the school buses weren’t even able
to start up anymore! It would take a miracle to get me out walking in that
weather now. My grand kid’s best not think I’m lying when I give them the age
old lecture about “when I was your age…”
A few other events that brighten up the winters here are:
The Canadian Open Sled Dog Races, The Snowmobile Races and
the Community Christmas Eve Dinner. The sled dog races are something everyone
should see at least once in there lifetime, people crowded around the starting
line watching the mushers gear up the dogs, people buzzing with excitement as
the signal to begin the race finally is blown. The teams take off as if someone
held a match under their behinds!
My FAVORITE event is the Snowmobile Races, almost everyone
in town heads out to the airport on a Saturday morning; the races are held in a
field just a hop, skip and a jump away from the airport. The races are divided
into classes of age and type of machine. One of my fondest and proudest moments
of my mom was when she raced back in 1994, she was on a white Polaris machine
and she took off so fast that the front of her sled lifted! She did over half
the race cat walking the sled! She won
second place and the next year she won first (without having to ride half the
race in the air!)
So, even as I sigh and complain that winter is creeping its
way back into Fort Nelson, I just have to remember…
It’s Fort Nelson!
August 02, 2011 | Tips from Us >
White Rock, Dining
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If you're looking for a great dining experience in Whiterock you should definitely try Cielos Tapas and Oyster Bar!
Four of us headed out to this lovely open air restaurant on the main boardwalk,with a spectacular view of the ocean and a front row seat for people viewing if you are seated on the patio. We opted to sit inside the restaurant as there was more room but later moved to the patio for after dinner drinks.
Our first choice was a mouth-watering House Special Bruschetta which featured gorgonzola cheese, a tomatoe puree and a balsamic reduction which wet our appetites for the candied salmon along with crab cakes and lamb popcicles which were delicious. We also sampled their secret blend of sangria which was perfect for a warm summer's evening. Next we opted for the raw oysters served with fresh shaved horseradish and roe and were pleased to see a favorite vinegar sauce served also at Rodney's Oyster Bar in Vancouver ( I believe there is some connection there). Still feeling we had some room left we opted for an order of their scrumptious fries served with 3 tastey sauces and a round of baked brie that was a gooey and delectable combination! They also served us with an interesting unleavened bread that reminded me of yorkshire pudding. We ended the meal with a shared desert with the flavours of chocolate, peanut butter and icecream, simply irresistable!
We also met the owner and his wife who were charming and did make us feel very welcome and bought us a round of drinks once they found out it was our first time there.Our server, Laurie was fun and entertaining, as well as very attentive without being intrusive. She even laughed at some of our lame jokes, trust me they were lame! She was a good sport! All in all it was a fabulous way to spend a summer evening, with great friends, a lovely sea breeze atmosphere and an interesting and delicious array of tempting food offerings. I would go back in a heartbeat!
August 01, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Fort Nelson, Sightseeing Tours
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On Friday, my dad and his friend Tracy were up from Fort St John for a visit. My dad was born here and was excited to see how much it had changed in 15+ years. Firstly, before any adventures began we needed some fuel; we stopped at the Sierra Lounge in the Fort Nelson Hotel. The food was good, service was excellent, and the lounge (opened in February 2011) is beautiful and definably an asset to Fort Nelson's food and beverage industry. We spent the evening cruising around town, through the industrial streets (which I found out my grandfather used to own a few lots and businesses!) We drank our tea and listened to my dad tell stories of his childhood, his pranks, crashes (on his bicycle), and many other stories. I of course being born and raised her myself had more than a few stories to share as well! Later on when the yawns started to stifle our stories and the laughter turned to chuckles we decided we could put off our adventure until the next morning.
Bright and early we met up at the "One" restaurant and had our morning coffees and breakfast. The One is a large restaurant, with good service and good food as well. We hopped into the truck once more and set off! Our first stop of the day was the Visitor Information Centre, my dad thought it was very cool, a new building and another great asset to Fort Nelson's streets. He bought my little sister a t-shirt that said: Someone who loves me bought me this shirt in Fort Nelson, BC. Also he bought a few of Doug Andrew's cards from Alaska Hiway Art.
After that we crossed the highway to the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum where we met up with our tour guide Dallas, he was very helpful and had a lot of information about the Hudson’s Bay House and the Trapper’s Cabin. In the very back of the museums outside exhibits is a portable machine shop with the sign “Derrick’s Machining and Oilfield Repairs,” which I’ll have you know belonged to my grandfather! I found that super cool, he build the shop so it was completely collapsible and could be moved on the back of a big truck, he would set up out on oil field leases and be able to work out of the weather and with ease.
Also in one of the exhibits inside the building there is a Mammoth tusk, which belonged to my dad when he was younger, his mom (my grandma) decided to donate it to the museum. Although he wasn’t happy about it at the time he now says he realizes that instead of just him enjoying it many people are able too! Later on it was dinner time, and our stomachs let us know that very loudly! We sat down to eat at the Outlaw Café, which is located in the Triple ‘G’ Hideaway campground. Food was delicious and it’s a fun and interesting setting, saddles for bar stools, and rifles for door handles! Very cool.
My day in the life of a tourist in Fort Nelson was great! I learned a little bit more about my home town and was pleased to see how many people love to teach about Fort Nelson and its history.